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Report: Wilkens to Hawks

June 01, 1993|From Staff and Wire Reports

Lenny Wilkens, reportedly close to agreeing to terms with the Clippers, will be named coach of the Atlanta Hawks today, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Wilkens will sign a multiyear contract and then be introduced at a news conference, the newspaper reported.

Lenny Wilkens, who quit as coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers recently, was the leading candidate to replace Larry Brown in Los Angeles. Sources close to the situation said three days ago that the Clippers and coach were close to finalizing a deal.

Andy Roeser, Clipper executive vice president for business operations, said late Monday night he did not know about the Atlanta report.

"We expect to be making our coaching announcement soon," he said. "I think it's best not to comment on speculation in other papers."

Elgin Baylor, the Clippers' general manager, was unavailable for comment.

Although the Clippers and Wilkens were talking seriously, Atlanta officials reportedly continued to pursue Wilkens, one of the league's most successful coaches.

The Atlanta newspaper reported neither president Stan Kasten nor General Manager Pete Babcock would comment on its report.

Wilkens, 55, would succeed Bob Weiss, who was fired after the Hawks lost in the opening round of the playoffs to Chicago. Wilkens resigned after Cleveland was eliminated in the second round by the Bulls.

If the Clippers lose Wilkens, their search for a candidate with head coaching experience will continue. Team officials say they have no plans to interview Magic Johnson, who expressed interest in being coach and part owner.

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